Kyiv Post | 28Jan2010 | Unknown

Bandera gets an award

President VictorYushchenko posthumously awards 20th century nationalist leader Stepan Bandera the nation’s highest honor inciting indignation from Russia and pro-Russian politicians.

President Victor Yushchenko on Jan. 22, 2010 gave Ukraine’s highest honor, Hero of Ukraine, to controversial freedom fighter Stepan Bandera (Jan. 1, 1909 – Oct. 15, 1959). Bandera headed the Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists and backed the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), which fought against the Soviets and Nazis for Ukraine’s independence. But Soviet and Russian propaganda has convinced many in Ukraine and abroad that the UPA collaborated with the Nazis.

To protest the award, Kostyantyn Zarudnev, a Sevastopol lawmaker, burned his Ukrainian passport on Jan. 24, 2010.

The Kremlin and Jewish groups also protested. Considered a hero by many Ukrainians, Bandera was killed by a KGB agent in Munich on Oct. 15, 1959.